How to Write a Job Application Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter is essential when applying for jobs. This is the perfect way to express how your specific skills are relevant to the open position. Wow your future employer with this simple cover letter example format.

Writing a first draft makes your letter concise and professional, states The Balance Careers. Organize your thoughts by making a list of what you’re trying to convey. Make sure you prioritize certain aspects like your previous job experience and why you would be a good fit for the position. Clearly state what position you’re interested in and why. Think about why you’re applying and what caught your eye about this specific position. Your cover letter will be easier to write after your thoughts are collected and organized.

Customize Your Salutation

When writing a salutation, make sure you know who you are writing to. Is this person the owner of the company or a Human Resources administrator? If you’re not sure, research the company to find out. Addressing your cover letter to a specific person shows initiative and attention to detail. After your salutation, start your letter with a short introduction of yourself. This gives future employers insight into who you are and the purpose of your cover letter.

Write Intentionally

Your cover letter should be no more than one page, so keep your points brief. Clearly state what position you are interested in and why. Explain why you are a good fit for the company because of your past job experience. If you have no similar job experience, let the employer know why you are changing career paths. Expand on your skills and give specific examples of how that skill set helped you at your last position. Name projects you’ve worked on and show results.

Close Your Letter

End your cover letter with a brief sentence and sign off. Thank the employer for their time and express your interest towards the job again. Let them know you’ll follow up with them if you do not hear back within a week and leave your contact information. Sign off with a professional farewell and leave room for a signature if sending a hard copy.

Edit and Proofread

As you finish writing your cover letter, make sure you take time to edit and proofread your document. Make sure it’s structured in a professional format with the company’s information, the salutation and introduction, the body of the letter, a brief closing sentence and farewell. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes to ensure a formal result. Make sure all names are spelled correctly, as well.

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Professional Banking Cover Letter Example for 2023

Read for inspiration or use it as a base to improve your own Banking cover letter. Just replace personal information, company application data and achievements with your own.

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How to write the perfect banking cover letter

Writing a Banking cover letter might feel like skating on thin ice – choosing between buzzwords mentioned in the job description and original content, while worrying about making even the slightest mistake.

And what can make this experience a bit more fun and exciting? You guessed it. Relying on expert advice and examples.

Luckily, we have you covered. Check out our tips on writing a memorable cover letter below.

banking coverletter.png

The secret to making your Banking cover letter remarkable is to share your excitement about the company, the field, and the position.

It’s also a good idea to aim not to re-write your resume, but rather to build upon it and expand on your competencies.

Now, let's look at some other things that will make recruiters remember you.

Address your cover letter to the right person and make your introduction strong

In general, the salutation you use depends on the tone of voice you’ve decided to go for but also on the company culture.

However, it’s always a good idea to address your letter to the person responsible for the recruitment process. If you don’t know their name, try to find it out. And only if that proves to be impossible, choose a generic salutation.

Here are some phrases you can use (note that some of them require you to know the hiring manager's name):

  • Dear Mr. John,
  • Dear Ms. Petersen,
  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear Dr. Todd,
  • Dear Head of [team you're applying for]

You wonder what the key to good introductions is? (Moderate) Creativity!

You’ve probably heard that many people out there have started using phrases like “I found your job advert on platform X and decided to apply”, right?

And what’s wrong with such phrases, you may ask. They’re outdated and they definitely won't make you stand out, to say the least.

So go for something different. Begin your cover letter by sharing your excitement about the company, the position, and even the field.

Mention both your hard and soft skills

The resume is the place to list all your hard skills. The Banking cover letter, on the other hand, is the ideal place to emphasize your soft skills and link them to your achievements.

Think about times when your skills have helped you achieve certain goals that seemed too difficult. And don’t worry about admitting some of your weak sides – this is a great way to show recruiters your potential and ability to grow, both professionally and personally.

Looking at the specific job posting requirements could also give you insight on what skills should be included in your resume by all means. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen cover letters for keywords before passing them on to recruiters.

Prove that you've researched the company and are aware of industry problems

Showing that you’ve researched the company and are familiar with it is a good way to prove your work-readiness.

It will also point the recruiter to the fact that your skills and qualifications will have a long-term impact on the company. Just link some of your strengths to the ways in which current or potential issues can be resolved.

Go for an actionable ending

By now you’ve managed to make a good impression on the hiring manager, and it’s important not to ruin it. That’s why you need your ending to be just as great as your cover letter’s body.

But what are the things that make up a memorable closing line? Expressing gratitude for the reader’s time and consideration, and saying that you look forward to their reply, to name a couple.

You can stick to traditional phrases (e.g. Looking forward to hearing from you soon) if you wish to be on the safe side. Just make sure that the language you use matches the company culture.

Banking cover letter

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Pair your cover letter with a matching resume for guaranteed success

If you want to make sure that the hiring manager will remember you, pair your cover letter with a matching resume.

Check out our Banking resume examples and job-winning templates for some additional inspiration.

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Banker Cover Letter Examples

Use these Banker cover letter examples to help you write a powerful cover letter that will separate you from the competition.

cover letter for banking job

Bankers are responsible for lending money to businesses and individuals. They also work with customers to develop financial plans and investment strategies.

To get a job as a banker, you need to have a strong understanding of financial concepts and a passion for helping people reach their financial goals.

Use these examples to write a banker cover letter that stands out from the competition.

Formal/Professional Writing Style Example

With a strong background in finance and a proven track record of successfully managing financial operations, I believe my skills and passion make me the ideal candidate for this role.

I possess a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from XYZ University and have gained over five years of experience in the banking industry, with a focus on financial analysis, risk management, and regulatory compliance. My previous roles as a Financial Analyst and Assistant Controller have prepared me well for the challenges of this position, enabling me to develop competencies such as forecasting, cost reduction, and strategic planning. In my most recent role, I was responsible for managing a team of seven, where I implemented measures that resulted in a cost reduction of 15% and led the successful completion of the annual audit process in collaboration with external auditors.

As a highly organized and detail-oriented individual, I excel at performing complex financial analysis and identifying trends to inform data-driven decision-making. My strong communication skills ensure that I am able to effectively communicate financial insights to stakeholders at all levels of the organization, leading to improved understanding of key performance metrics.

By joining your company, I am excited to contribute my skills and experience to meet and exceed the expectations set for this role. I am highly motivated to contribute to the financial success of your organization and am confident that my dedication to upholding the highest financial standards will make me a valuable asset to your team.

Thank you for considering my application. I am eager to discuss my qualifications further and learn more about the opportunities for professional growth within your organization. Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

[Your Name]

Entry-Level Writing Style Example

As a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of State, I am eager to begin my career in banking and believe this position at [Bank Name] is a perfect opportunity for me to utilize and expand upon my skills and knowledge.

My educational background has provided me with a strong foundation in finance, accounting, and risk management. Specifically, coursework in financial management, investments, and financial markets has prepared me for analyzing and interpreting financial data. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to participate in an internship with a local financial institution, where I gained valuable experience in customer service and relationship building. This experience has equipped me with the skills to handle customer inquiries, process transactions, and identify the best banking products and services to meet their needs.

I am particularly drawn to [Bank Name] because of your commitment to providing exceptional customer service and your dedication to fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace culture. I believe these values closely align with my own personal and professional goals, and I am confident I can contribute positively to [Bank Name’s] overall success.

I would be thrilled to be given the opportunity to contribute my skills and enthusiasm to your team at [Bank Name]. I have attached my resume and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further in an interview. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Networking/Referral Writing Style Example

I was thrilled to learn about this opportunity through my colleague and friend, Mr. John Doe, who has been working with your team for the past three years as an Investment Analyst. John has always spoken highly of the dynamic work culture and growth opportunities at your bank, and I believe my experience and skills would make me a perfect candidate for this role.

As an individual with over five years of experience working in the banking sector, I have a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects of banking services, including account management, credit analysis, and customer service. I am confident that my ability to communicate effectively with diverse clients, my strong analytical skills, and my drive to provide exceptional customer service will position me for success in this role.

Being referred to your organization by John, who has firsthand knowledge of my work ethics and professional accomplishments, underscores the belief that I have the skills and drive necessary to make a significant contribution to your team.

I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of your esteemed organization and contribute to its growth and success. Please find my resume attached for your review. I would welcome the chance to further discuss my qualifications and how I can add value to your team.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you further.

Enthusiastic/Passionate Writing Style Example

Having admired [Bank Name] for a long time, I am inspired by the innovation, dedication to customer service, and strong commitment to fostering financial inclusion that your institution consistently showcases. I am confident that my skills and eagerness to contribute to your team make me the ideal candidate for this role.

During my time at [Previous Company], I demonstrated my passion for banking by consistently exceeding sales targets, fostering relationships with clients, and actively participating in community outreach programs. I believe these experiences have equipped me with the perfect blend of sales, analytical, and interpersonal skills to excel in this role.

One particular achievement that stands out is my successful implementation of a comprehensive financial literacy program, which not only increased our brand awareness but also empowered numerous individuals to make better financial decisions. I am eager to apply this same dedication and innovative mindset to the Banker role at [Bank Name]. I am certain that my contagious enthusiasm for assisting clients in reaching their financial goals will make me an invaluable addition to your team.

Furthermore, I am dedicated to continually enhancing my banking acumen by staying informed about the latest industry trends, attending relevant workshops, and pursuing new certifications. I am confident in my ability to not only adeptly fulfill the responsibilities of the Banker position but also consistently go above and beyond for the benefit of both [Bank Name] and its clients.

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to join your esteemed organization and embark on a successful banking career with [Bank Name]. I look forward to the chance to further discuss my qualifications and passion with you during an interview.

Problem-Solving Writing Style Example

Having thoroughly researched your bank’s impressive growth and dedication to customer satisfaction, I have identified two central challenges that I believe my background and expertise can help address: bolstering customer loyalty and adapting to the ever-evolving financial technology landscape.

Firstly, I understand that establishing and maintaining strong relationships with clients is key to customer loyalty and long-term business success. With over six years of experience in the banking sector, I have honed my skills in understanding clients’ financial needs and goals, creating tailor-made solutions and fostering trust through excellent communication and prompt service. My ability to combine in-depth market analysis with a client-centric approach will help your bank not only boost customer satisfaction but also maximize opportunities for financial growth, ultimately reinforcing customer loyalty.

Secondly, to stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry, banks need to adapt to fintech innovations, streamline processes and provide digital products that cater to the changing needs and preferences of customers. In my previous role at XYZ Bank, I was responsible for integrating new technology solutions into our branch offerings, leading to a 20% increase in customer adoption of digital services. My experience in implementing cutting-edge solutions and facilitating training to ensure a smooth transition for staff and customers alike will prove invaluable in your bank’s continuous pursuit of digital excellence.

In summary, I believe my client-focused approach, financial expertise, and experience in digital transformation will make me a valuable addition to your team. I am eager to contribute to your bank’s ongoing success and further enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my candidacy further.

[Your name]

Storytelling/Narrative Writing Style Example

Growing up, I had always harbored a deep fascination for numbers and financial matters. This passion, combined with my desire to help others, led me to pursue a career in banking. Let me share with you a story that I believe perfectly encapsulates my dedication to this field.

A few years ago, I found myself in a difficult financial situation. A close friend approached me for help with her struggling small business. With my background in finance and my strong analytical skills, I was confident that I could assist her in turning her business around. I eagerly took up the challenge, putting my knowledge of financial management, budgeting, and cost-cutting techniques to work.

As we delved into the business, I identified several areas where improvements could be made. We negotiated better terms with suppliers, streamlined operations, and implemented a comprehensive financial plan. I even took the initiative to educate my friend on the importance of financial literacy and effective money management, empowering her to make better decisions in the future.

Fast forward a year, and her once-struggling business had become a thriving, profitable venture. The satisfaction of helping someone in need and the joy of witnessing their success fueled my passion for the banking industry even more.

This experience has taught me the power of effective financial management and the profound impact it can have on people’s lives. I am eager to bring my skills, dedication, and passion for helping others to your organization as a Banker.

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your team and am confident that my background in financial management and commitment to customer service make me an excellent candidate for the role. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my qualifications further.

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Personal Banker Cover Letter Example (Free Guide)

Create an personal banker cover letter that lands you the interview with our free examples and writing tips. use and customize our template and land an interview today..

Personal Banker Cover Letter Example

Are you looking for a job as a Personal Banker? Writing a cover letter is an important step in the job application process. Our Personal Banker Cover Letter Guide is here to help you create a convincing and informative cover letter that will help you stand out from the competition. With our guide, you can be sure your cover letter will make a lasting impression.

We will cover:

  • How to write a cover letter, no matter your industry or job title.
  • What to put on a cover letter to stand out.
  • The top skills employers from every industry want to see.
  • How to build a cover letter fast with our professional Cover Letter Builder .
  • What a cover letter template is, and why you should use it.

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Personal Banker Cover Letter Sample

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Dear [Hiring Manager],

I am writing to apply for the position of Personal Banker at [Company Name]. With over [X] years of experience in the banking industry, I am confident that I am the ideal candidate for the role.

Throughout my career, I have gained extensive knowledge in all aspects of personal banking, including customer service, investments, and financial advice. I have a proven track record of success in developing and maintaining strong customer relationships and delivering outstanding customer service. I am adept at problem-solving and have a keen eye for detail, ensuring that all transactions are completed accurately and efficiently.

I am highly organized and possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. I am comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and am able to multitask and prioritize tasks effectively. I am capable of working independently as well as collaboratively and have a strong customer-centric approach. I am also highly adept at utilizing banking software such as [X], [Y], and [Z].

I am confident that I possess the necessary skills and knowledge to be a successful Personal Banker and would be a great addition to your team. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss how I can contribute to the success of your organization.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Why Do you Need a Personal Banker Cover Letter?

A Personal Banker cover letter is an important document when applying for a position in the banking industry. It provides a great opportunity to show potential employers why you are the right fit for the job. Here are some reasons why you need a Personal Banker cover letter:

  • It helps to highlight why you are the perfect candidate for the position.
  • It demonstrates your knowledge of the banking industry and how you can use your skills to benefit the company.
  • It provides a great way to show how you can contribute to the company’s growth and success.
  • It allows you to showcase your personality and how you can work well with a team.
  • It gives you an advantage over other applicants as it shows that you are serious about the job.

A Few Important Rules To Keep In Mind

  • Be sure to address the letter to a specific person, if possible. If you don’t know the name, you can address it to the “Hiring Manager.”
  • Keep it brief. Your cover letter should be no longer than one page.
  • Highlight your qualifications. Make sure you emphasize the skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate for the position.
  • Show your knowledge. Demonstrate your understanding of the company and the position you are applying for.
  • Be confident. Show that you are confident in your abilities and that you are the right person for the job.
  • Proofread. Make sure you review your cover letter for any typos, spelling errors, or grammar mistakes.
  • Include your contact information. Include your full name, address, and phone number at the end of your cover letter.

What's The Best Structure For Personal Banker Cover Letters?

After creating an impressive Personal Banker resume , the next step is crafting a compelling cover letter to accompany your job applications. It's essential to remember that your cover letter should maintain a formal tone and follow a recommended structure. But what exactly does this structure entail, and what key elements should be included in a Personal Banker cover letter? Let's explore the guidelines and components that will make your cover letter stand out.

Key Components For Personal Banker Cover Letters:

  • Your contact information, including the date of writing
  • The recipient's details, such as the company's name and the name of the addressee
  • A professional greeting or salutation, like "Dear Mr. Levi,"
  • An attention-grabbing opening statement to captivate the reader's interest
  • A concise paragraph explaining why you are an excellent fit for the role
  • Another paragraph highlighting why the position aligns with your career goals and aspirations
  • A closing statement that reinforces your enthusiasm and suitability for the role
  • A complimentary closing, such as "Regards" or "Sincerely," followed by your name
  • An optional postscript (P.S.) to add a brief, impactful note or mention any additional relevant information.

Cover Letter Header

A header in a cover letter should typically include the following information:

  • Your Full Name: Begin with your first and last name, written in a clear and legible format.
  • Contact Information: Include your phone number, email address, and optionally, your mailing address. Providing multiple methods of contact ensures that the hiring manager can reach you easily.
  • Date: Add the date on which you are writing the cover letter. This helps establish the timeline of your application.

It's important to place the header at the top of the cover letter, aligning it to the left or center of the page. This ensures that the reader can quickly identify your contact details and know when the cover letter was written.

Cover Letter Greeting / Salutation

A greeting in a cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • Personalized Salutation: Address the hiring manager or the specific recipient of the cover letter by their name. If the name is not mentioned in the job posting or you are unsure about the recipient's name, it's acceptable to use a general salutation such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Team."
  • Professional Tone: Maintain a formal and respectful tone throughout the greeting. Avoid using overly casual language or informal expressions.
  • Correct Spelling and Title: Double-check the spelling of the recipient's name and ensure that you use the appropriate title (e.g., Mr., Ms., Dr., or Professor) if applicable. This shows attention to detail and professionalism.

For example, a suitable greeting could be "Dear Ms. Johnson," or "Dear Hiring Manager," depending on the information available. It's important to tailor the greeting to the specific recipient to create a personalized and professional tone for your cover letter.

Cover Letter Introduction

An introduction for a cover letter should capture the reader's attention and provide a brief overview of your background and interest in the position. Here's how an effective introduction should look:

  • Opening Statement: Start with a strong opening sentence that immediately grabs the reader's attention. Consider mentioning your enthusiasm for the job opportunity or any specific aspect of the company or organization that sparked your interest.
  • Brief Introduction: Provide a concise introduction of yourself and mention the specific position you are applying for. Include any relevant background information, such as your current role, educational background, or notable achievements that are directly related to the position.
  • Connection to the Company: Demonstrate your knowledge of the company or organization and establish a connection between your skills and experiences with their mission, values, or industry. Showcasing your understanding and alignment with their goals helps to emphasize your fit for the role.
  • Engaging Hook: Consider including a compelling sentence or two that highlights your unique selling points or key qualifications that make you stand out from other candidates. This can be a specific accomplishment, a relevant skill, or an experience that demonstrates your value as a potential employee.
  • Transition to the Body: Conclude the introduction by smoothly transitioning to the main body of the cover letter, where you will provide more detailed information about your qualifications, experiences, and how they align with the requirements of the position.

By following these guidelines, your cover letter introduction will make a strong first impression and set the stage for the rest of your application.

Cover Letter Body

As an experienced Personal Banker, I am pleased to present my resume for your consideration. My expertise lies in providing excellent customer service, developing strong relationships with clients, and providing financial guidance.

I am adept at developing comprehensive financial plans that help customers achieve their financial goals. I have excellent interpersonal skills and have experience with financial analysis, loan processing, and risk management. Additionally, I have a strong understanding of banking regulations and procedures, as well as a strong knowledge of banking products and services.

In my current role as a Personal Banker, I am responsible for providing a full range of banking services to customers, including opening new accounts, answering questions about products and services, and assisting with loan applications. I am also responsible for identifying customer needs and recommending appropriate products and services. Furthermore, I am proficient in using banking software to process customer transactions and provide accurate information.

I am confident that my skill set and experience make me an ideal candidate for this position. I am committed to providing excellent customer service and building strong relationships with clients. I am also eager to learn new banking products and services and become an integral part of your team.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you further about how I can contribute to your organization.

Complimentary Close

The conclusion and signature of a cover letter provide a final opportunity to leave a positive impression and invite further action. Here's how the conclusion and signature of a cover letter should look:

  • Summary of Interest: In the conclusion paragraph, summarize your interest in the position and reiterate your enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the organization or school. Emphasize the value you can bring to the role and briefly mention your key qualifications or unique selling points.
  • Appreciation and Gratitude: Express appreciation for the reader's time and consideration in reviewing your application. Thank them for the opportunity to be considered for the position and acknowledge any additional materials or documents you have included, such as references or a portfolio.
  • Call to Action: Conclude the cover letter with a clear call to action. Indicate your availability for an interview or express your interest in discussing the opportunity further. Encourage the reader to contact you to schedule a meeting or provide any additional information they may require.
  • Complimentary Closing: Choose a professional and appropriate complimentary closing to end your cover letter, such as "Sincerely," "Best Regards," or "Thank you." Ensure the closing reflects the overall tone and formality of the letter.
  • Signature: Below the complimentary closing, leave space for your handwritten signature. Sign your name in ink using a legible and professional style. If you are submitting a digital or typed cover letter, you can simply type your full name.
  • Typed Name: Beneath your signature, type your full name in a clear and readable font. This allows for easy identification and ensures clarity in case the handwritten signature is not clear.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Personal Banker Cover Letter

When crafting a cover letter, it's essential to present yourself in the best possible light to potential employers. However, there are common mistakes that can hinder your chances of making a strong impression. By being aware of these pitfalls and avoiding them, you can ensure that your cover letter effectively highlights your qualifications and stands out from the competition. In this article, we will explore some of the most common mistakes to avoid when writing a cover letter, providing you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you create a compelling and impactful introduction that captures the attention of hiring managers. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your career journey, understanding these mistakes will greatly enhance your chances of success in the job application process. So, let's dive in and discover how to steer clear of these common missteps and create a standout cover letter that gets you noticed by potential employers.

  • Not including keywords from the job posting.
  • Not tailoring your cover letter to the role.
  • Including irrelevant information.
  • Using a generic cover letter.
  • Using an overly formal tone.
  • Making grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Not providing specific examples of your skills.
  • Not proofreading your cover letter.
  • Not providing contact information.

Key Takeaways For a Personal Banker Cover Letter

  • Highlight your customer service and sales experience.
  • Demonstrate your ability to build relationships and trust with clients.
  • Showcase your financial services knowledge.
  • Explain how you have successfully handled difficult customer service situations.
  • Mention any relevant certifications or qualifications.
  • Demonstrate your ability to work within strict guidelines.
  • Express your enthusiasm for the banking industry.
  • Emphasize your excellent communication and organizational skills.

The cover letter that will get you a job in a bank

The cover letter that will get you a job in a bank

Do you really need to write a cover letter when you're applying for a job in an investment bank? These days, it's surely all about the skills in your CV - who's got the time to read that extra blurb saying how perfect you are for the role?

Recruiters working with experienced hires certaintly don't have the time. Most of the banking recruiters we speak to treat the cover letters (or 'cover emails') they receive from experienced candidates as an irrelevance. "For experienced roles, we rarely look at cover letters," says the CEO of one London-based financial services recruitment firm. I just go for the CV," agrees another. "I look at the CV and then I phone them. - If the CV is relevant, I'll get everything that would have been in the cover letter from that call." 

This doesn't mean you should just attach a CV/resume with no introductory email. It does mean that the introductory email might not be read - but you still need to make sure you don't make common mistakes like referencing the wrong bank, or forgetting to attach your CV altogether.

However, there some situations in which cover letters can make all the difference.  

These include:

  • When you're applying for graduate jobs in banking.
  • When you're applying to banks directly (without going through external recruiters),
  • And... when you happen to be using a recruiter who simply likes cover letters (hard to tell!).

"For graduate hires, cover letters are very important," says one headhunter. Just how important is reflected by the fact that some banks specify them as a must-have in the ir graduate recruitment process .   Banks like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Macquarie typically all demand that their would-be analysts in Europe write cover letters or something very similar, says Victoria McLean, a former Goldman Sachs recruiter and founder of banking CV specialists, City CV.   "Some banks still ask for specific questions to be answered around motivation, strengths and key behaviours/competencies (these are of varying word counts depending on the bank)," she says.

Goldman Sachs historically demanded that recruits write a 300 word personal statement as a cover letter. A former recruiter at the firm told us it was  very important. "Some students were excellent until they got to the cover letter," - those 300 words let them down.

What makes a good banking cover letter? Mai Le, a former Goldman Sachs investment banking associate who ran  CoverLetterLibrary , a community which houses a collection of cover letters that have enabled juniors to get jobs at banks in the past. Le says the best cover letters have two things in common: narrative structure (they emphasize your story and show the choices that brought you here) and facts and figures that underscore your background and achievements. By comparison, Le says the worst banking cover letters suffer from key-word stuffing, irrelevant information and spelling and grammatical mistakes.

It can help to follow a general template... 

You need to tailor your cover letters for each job you apply to. But this doesn't mean that you can't write a cover letter that follows a template. It does mean that each time you apply for a new job, you will need to fill in the template all over again.

McLean suggests your template follows the following format: Introduction. Why me? Why you? Why this job? In total, the text within the template should be no more than 750 words, or one A4 page, long. Le says some candidates also use a format that's ordered as, Why this job? Why this bank? Why me?  "It's a matter of personal preference," she says. Ultimately, you want all these elements in the cover letter and should go with which ever you feel comfortable with.

Either way, here's what to include.

The easy introductory paragraph

The first paragraph is all about explaining why you're writing. If you're applying for a graduate job in a bank, keep it short and sweet.

"The first paragraph is just to say who you are and why you're writing the letter," says McLean.

This paragraph might read something like. "I am an X with X year history of X at global banking firms including X as well as X. I have been working for X for the past X years."

If you're writing a Goldman Sachs cover letter that's 300 words or less, you can ditch this style of opening paragraph. - There's just no space for it.

If you're writing to a recruiter, there's less need to be quite so brief with your introduction. Say who you are, and explain why you've approached that recruiter in particular: "If someone says they've been referred to me by someone I know and respect, I will sit up and pay attention," says one U.S. recruiter. "The same applies if they say they've learned that I mentor women and that this is something they're interested in too."

In other words, when you're writing a cover letter to a recruiter, you need to know who you're writing to. Use this introductory paragraph to address them in person. Flattery will get you everywhere.

The selling yourself paragraph. 'Why you?'

The second paragraph is usually harder. This is where you need to start selling yourself, expressing your personality, and explaining why you're such a hot catch. It's here that you can add in some of the narrative explaining how you came to apply for this role, plus some of the substantiating figures that Le says make successful cover letters so effective.  Don't  use bland and empty phrases like, "I am a determined, motivated person." Do look at the key words and skills used to describe the job you're applying for and (without too obviously reiterating the ad) explain how you match them. Focus on the results and on  outcomes you've achieved in similar situations in the past.  You need to be specific and you need to bring yourself to life.

If you're writing a cover letter to accompany a graduate application, McLean says you can use the second paragraph to talk about what you've studied and how it's relevant. If you've studied finance and know how to do a DCF, now's the time to mention that. If you haven't studied finance but have good relationship management skills and you want to work i n M&A (a relationship-focused business), say that here. Provide EVIDENCE for the skills you're claiming to have.- List any awards you've won. Never, ever, make empty statements. "Many successful trading cover letters feature the candidate's trading return profile and their rationales for their success or failure," says Le. " - Cover letters for sales positions highlight the candidate's track record that evident their ability as a natural salesperson."

The motivational paragraph. 'Why this job (in this sector?)'

If you're an experienced hire applying through a recruiter or applying directly to a bank, this is where you explain why you want the job you're applying for. If you're a student applying for a first job, this is why you need to explain why you want this job and why you want to work in this sector. Be specific -  you'll need to know about the job and the sector before you start this section.

As a student, you'll need to link your skills back to your motivation for working in that area of banking above others, says McLean. Why M&A? Why not sales and trading? Why not compliance?  - If you want to work in operations , for example, explain how you have a passion for building systems and improving efficiency, as evidenced by your system for serving customers in your weekend job...

"You should include what you love about the industry to which you are applying," says McLean. "Why is it important to YOU? Why does it matter to YOU? How does it make a difference to YOU? and why is it interesting to YOU? Especially valid for Graduates: Why finance? Why investment banking / asset management?  before addressing the specifics of the division or programme to which you are applying. The key is to make this personal…. This is where most grads go wrong in their cover letters, they sound too generic and impersonal."

The connection paragraph. 'Why this bank ?'

The fourth paragraph is all about explaining why you want to work for that particular bank. Again, you need to be specific. McLean says graduates often copy and paste from banks' own websites. For example, it's not unheard of for them to write, "I want to work for Goldman Sachs because you have 170 locations across 90 cities in over 30 countries."  This will get you nowhere.

"The idea is not to flatter your potential employer but to identify what makes them a good choice for you and you a good fit," says McLean. "Telling Goldman or Citi you want to work for them because they are the best is not going to impress anyone. However, writing that it’s an opportunity to work with some of the best minds on the street and that you want to be held to those same exacting standards is a bit more engaging." But you need to put this in your own words: you need to make it personal and say what the banks strengths mean to YOU.

The other ex-Goldman Sachs recruiter we spoke to said she particularly looked for, "creativity and effort and writing about Goldman Sachs," when running through students' cover letters. People were expected to say exactly why they wanted to work for Goldman rather than, say, J.P. Morgan.

Instead of just reiterating what you've read on banks' websites, therefore, you need to cite some unusual reasons for choosing that bank that will make you stand out. If you're a student, it helps to say that you've met some of the banks' staff and were impressed by them.  Citigroup, for example, suggests that  student cover letters  reference encounters with the bank's staff at recruitment events. - Make a note of the staff you meet and explain what they said or did that impressed you, and what made you think you'd like to work with them.

Mark Hatz, a former M&A associate at Goldman Sachs and Perella Weinberg Partners who now helps people get jobs in banking , says stressing your rapport with people you've met from the firm is particularly important when you're applying for a job in M&A or capital markets: "These are advisory businesses and they want to see that you can build a rapport and work in a team. If you get the job, you'll also be spending a lot of hours in the office with these people, so showing you like them is very important."

It also helps to reference the bank's strategy, to mention any awards the bank won, and to cite any conversations you've had with or comments you've read from other industry professionals and analysts who've given concrete reasons why it's good place to work. Everything in this section needs to be positive. - You need to explain why you want to work for Deutsche Bank specifically without writing anything that denigrates its rivals. The more senior you are, the more you will need to reference solid strategy points at this stage.

"Show a grasp of where they are going, what the plan is and why this appeals to you," says McLean. Show that you know their strategy and that you agree with the way they're addressing challenges. "You should also write about the future of the firm. You should be planning to be there for a few years and hoping to share that future with them," McLean adds. Look at the shareholder letter in the last annual report for information on a bank's strategy.

The call to action

Finally, you need to end the cover letter with a call to action. McLean suggests completing the letter with the following sentence: "I really look forward to hearing from you. I am available for interview and contactable by X.'

Simple. Except all of this has to be written in 750 words - or just 300 if you're a student applying to Goldman Sachs. It's not so easy after all.

Click here to create a profile on eFinancialCareers. Make yourself visible to recruiters hiring for top jobs in technology and finance. 

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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Banking Job

Last Updated: July 11, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Kolby Goodman . Kolby Goodman is a Career & Job Search Coach and the Founder of The Job Huntr. With over eight years of experience, he specializes in resume edits, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile feedback, and professional interview coaching. Additionally, his career advice has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post. Kolby holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from San Diego State University. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 132,520 times.

If you are seeking a job in the banking industry, a cover letter is an essential component of your application process. Banks usually skim through large volumes of applications for open positions, so you need to maximize every word of your cover letter to make it stand out. Fortunately, by researching the company and the position, explaining how precisely you would fit both, and organizing and formatting your letter properly, you can increase the odds of your cover letter landing you the banking job of your dreams.

Gathering Information for Your Letter

Step 1 Research the company and position.

  • Study the company’s website closely. Look for anything that makes it distinctive in relation to its peers. Research its business strategy and culture, as well as all of the services it provides.
  • For example, if the bank’s website highlights the amount of international clients it has, make a point of mentioning this fact in your cover letter and state that you’re particularly interested in international banking.
  • Gather all the details you can about the nature of the position itself. Read the advertisement carefully. Reach out to the contact person on the job ad for more information.
  • Whether you’re looking to become a loan officer at your local branch or an investment banker at a national firm, you should expect stiff competition for the job. A generic, cookie-cutter cover letter is unlikely to make the cut.

Step 2 Consult but don’t rely on cover letter templates.

  • For example, you can easily find a template and sample cover letter for a loan officer position online that uses a 3-paragraph format and bullet points to emphasize the most critical information. But this should only provide inspiration for a letter tailored to the precise job you are seeking.
  • If you're sending out several applications to different banks, you can use the same rough template. But the heart of your letter, the central paragraph(s), should be specifically tailored to each particular position.

Step 3 Determine what skills or experiences make you a fit for this job.

  • Your letter essentially has to answer several key questions, including: “Who am I?”, “Why do I want this (specific) job?”, “Why should you want me for this (specific) job?”, and “What do I have (attributes, skills, experiences, etc.) that you need?”
  • For example, when applying for a banking job, some skills that would make you a particularly strong candidate include communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and cash handling skills.
  • If you want to get a job as a bank teller , it can be really helpful to garner some experience in a position that involves customer service and cash handling, such as a salesperson or cashier.

Step 4 Figure out the key “selling point” for your application.

  • This may be your academic achievements in relevant coursework; your prior successful experience in the industry; a successful internship with a glowing recommendation; or your relevant experiences in another field.
  • For example, if you’re applying for a job as a bank teller, a good factor to emphasize would be your ample work experience in a customer service position that involved handling large amounts of cash.

Writing Your Letter

Step 1 Introduce yourself quickly but powerfully in the first paragraph.

  • Aim for at most 2-3 sentences for your introduction. Sticking to 35 total words, especially if you must stick with a one-page letter, will also leave ample space for the central paragraph(s).
  • “Greetings. My name is Casey Weinberg, and I am applying for a job as an assistant branch manager” is brief but dull. Allow your introduction to introduce not only you, but the central components of your case for being hired: “Greetings. My name is Casey Weinberg, and with my 15 successful years of serving client needs both inside and outside the financial sector, I am ready to bring my knowledge and experience to being an assistant branch manager at Sunbelt Community Bank.”
  • If you have any contacts or character references within the company, mention these in your introductory paragraph as well.

Step 2 Focus on why you’re the ideal candidate in the second paragraph.

  • An example of describing a positive achievement in a previous job would be: “As a project manager, I managed to successfully 3 projects within 4 months without going over our unit’s budget.”
  • Be sure you match your skills and experiences to the specific qualifications listed in the job description. Give the reader a concrete sense of how your past experiences can come to bear in specific ways in this job.

Step 3 Explain why you want to work for this company in the third paragraph.

  • For example, if this particular banking company is known for producing some of the most successful people in the financial industry, say that you want to work for what is evidently one of the best financial institutions in the business.
  • A slight hint of flattery and a lot of research will go a long way in this paragraph. Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve when it comes to explaining why you’re seeking a job with this particular company.

Step 4 Conclude with a “call to action” that invites the reader to contact you.

  • Make sure you include your contact information in this paragraph if it isn’t included at the top of your letter. If possible, include multiple different means of getting in touch with you.
  • Thank the reader for their time and consideration before concluding the cover letter with “Sincerely, Casey Weinberg.”

Formatting and Editing Your Letter

Step 1 Refrain from using empty and generic phrases in your letter.

  • Use active phrases that focus on results and outcomes. Make it clear that you have gotten things done in the past and will continue to do so in this new position.
  • For instance, consider the differing impact of the following 2 statements: “I’m a highly competent change management professional who has worked on a number of projects at major banks,” versus “I managed a team of 18 technology and business analyst staff who successfully switched to a major new payments system six weeks ahead of time and 8% under budget.”
  • The more specific you can be in a limited number of words, the better.

Step 2 Keep your cover letter to a single page, unless stated otherwise.

  • Some job postings may list word or page limits for cover letters. You can also ask the contact person if there are any.
  • A cover letter is your opportunity to “personalize” your resume. They should complement each other to present a quick yet thorough portrait of you as a strong job candidate. Thus, place the most important information about you near the top of the letter, just as you would with a resume.

Step 3 Use professional cover letter formatting.

  • Refrain from using bold fonts or colors; although these certainly will make your cover letter stand out, they may also make you seem unprofessional.
  • With many letters to read and quick decisions to make, the people assessing applications want to be able to find what they need quickly and without distracting changes or errors. Nothing but the content of the text should occupy their attention.

Step 4 Have someone proofread your cover letter before you send it in.

  • Use someone knowledgeable in the banking field, if possible, so they can suggest industry-specific clarifications, additions, or excisions.
  • Always look for ways to cut words from your letter. A cover letter that references all the necessary information can never really be too short.

Expert Q&A

Kolby Goodman

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